Thursday, August 9, 2012

What's going to be different this year?

One of the things I love about teaching is that it's new every year.  We get a fresh start!

Over the summer my creative and intuitive juices start to flow, and I start to plot and plan what is going to be different about the new year.

Actually my plotting and planning for this year started at the end of March when I attended a class about connecting and creating a community with students.  The course was based on the Circle of Courage from Reclaiming Youth.  In a nutshell it is a holistic approach working with people.  I've always had a bent toward this sort of work, but the push for standards diminished the time I could commit to it.

Now I'm looking forward to creating space for my students to contribute to our school community by volunteering in the office, with the custodians, and in other classrooms.  I believe this is going to be transformative!

The first thing this summer that got me really excited about going back to school was attending the Whole Brain Teaching Midwest Conference.  I'm anticipating employing lots of these strategies in my classroom.

This is going to be my second year to do a paperless newsletter and to hold daily class meetings.  I'm looking forward to polishing those up a bit.

I'm a planner.  I usually spend crazy amounts of time planning and creating over the summer.  I've had a faulty bit of thinking on this because I was always planning based on the kids who just left me.  I've decided that despite my notebook full of ideas I'm going to wait until I spend a little time with the newbies before I plot out stuff like a year of writing lessons.  {This does strike a little fear in my heart, but I think it will be more effective, too.}

I'm also employing some secret strategies to take care of myself so that I can better connect with my students, their families, and my coworkers.  You can see some of that over at Brave Teachers!

What's going to be different with you this year?

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